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Bewildering Stories

Challenge 455

Seeing Small, Seeing Larger

  1. In Mike Florian’s “Fire in the Water”:

    1. The sea at night is a romantic spectacle. How does the author avoid sentimentality?
    2. What is the function of relative size in the story? Why is “Fire in the Water” a short story rather than a vignette?
    3. What is the signifiance of the otter’s gaze?
  2. In Joseph Farley’s “Seeing Red, Seeing Green”:

    1. What does the poet hope for? Why?
    2. What is the difference between “Seeing Red, Seeing Green” and “Mars Draws Near”?
  3. In Alessandro Cusimano’s “The Queen of Flowers,” the English title is a free modulation of the original La Virtù delle rose. Why might the literal translation “The Roses’ Virtue” be not entirely accurate?

  4. What does Zarin Thomson’s “A Salient Point say about the way memory changes between childhood and adulthood?

  5. In Joseph L. Jones’ “The Dealmaker”:

    1. Are any of the characters non-essential?
    2. The demon says it has been searching for Emilaz. Has it carried out the search very efficiently?
    3. At the end, it becomes apparent that the demon is Emilaz’ own inner conflict. How might the conflict and resolution be portrayed in a realistic mode rather than as fantasy?
  6. In Nancy May’s “The Family Whip”:

    1. On what basis is the word choice in the story encrypted?
    2. Once the text is decoded, what actually happens in the story?
    3. Is the story partly or completely computer-generated? How is it possible to decide?
    4. If the story was written by a person, is the person writing English as a second language or a native speaker engaging in an exercise in non-idiomatic usage?

Responses welcome!

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